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Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame Hoops | NSD Coaches Notebook | Part I

November 11, 2023
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Notre Dame basketball head coach Micah Shrewsberry was joined by Irish Director of Recruiting Brian Snow on Wednesday to discuss signing guard Cole Certa‍ and forwards Sir Mohammed‍ (pictured) and Garrett Sundra‍ in their first National Signing Day at South Bend.

Shrewsberry:

“This is an exciting time for us, right as the season gets started and you're thinking about that, but you're always thinking about the future of your program. Our idea on how do you build something that lasts forever is you do a lot of work on the recruiting trail and this is a total team effort. Brian Snow, this is our third year together and he's really spearheaded this for us and we've signed successful classes every single year. It starts there, but like I said, it's a total team effort and our assistant coaches do an unbelievable job of building relationships and finding guys that are going to fit Notre Dame, they're going to fit our style of play. Those guys do an unbelievable job of getting those guys here and helping to get them signed.

“It also is Pat Rogers and his detail from getting them on the campus to making sure that when they're here to visit, all those things are going successfully. And that trickles all the way down to Logan and Rachel and their time that they spend with these recruits that are here from Josh and Allie and everybody that really make them feel like this is a family place and there's a lot of people that really care about you that's here. So like I said, this is a total team effort and a very, very bright day for our future with three really great people, first and foremost. When you talk about these guys, you think about that first and foremost is they're great people, they're great students, they're going to be great fits at Notre Dame. They're really good basketball players.

“All three fit our style of play as you'll see. But they're winners also. Cole's team, last year, Bloomington Central Catholic was runner-up in the state championship. Sir Mohammed's team won the North Carolina State Championship. Garrett Sundra's team won the Virginia Private School State Championship. He's won 16 and 17-U Peach Jams and been a part of those teams. When you bring in winners, you bring in guys that know how to win, it already adds value to your program.”

Snow:

“We have a process for everything we do in recruiting around here. The first thing is just the fit in the system, the fit with Coach Shrewsbury. We're in an era where people point to the transfer portal and stuff. People don't pay as much attention to building a roster. We are very systematic about how we build a roster and who we recruit. That gets into a lot of continuity with Coach Shrewsberry and myself, Mike Farrelly, Ryan Owens, who he's known forever, Kyle Getter, who he worked with for a long time. We all are on the same page and how we're going to put a roster together. As Coach Shrews always likes to say, this isn't a school district, we get to choose who we go after. That's what you're going to see when you see the highlights, exactly how they fit in with what we do and why these guys were all top priorities for us for a long period of time. We recruited each one of these kids hard for well over a year. All of them trusted us and we trusted them. We feel the future is in great hands. And just to piggyback off what Coach Shrews said as well. There are so many people involved in recruiting that I don't think everyone fully grasps the scope of everything. You see what the assistant coaches do. You see what the head coaches do. People give me way too much credit, but people behind the scenes like Jerry Maloney, Jessica Armstrong, everybody is so important in making these recruits feel special when they get to Notre Dame and we can't thank them enough for what they do for our program and how they help us.”

Shrewsberry:

“I'll speak for myself and these guys over here, we don't give Snow too much credit.”

Question on the importance of landing guys eager to be part of the foundation of what Shrewsberry is building

Shrewsberry:

“You see, one, kids that want to be at Notre Dame. These kids want to be here first and foremost. When they came on their visits, you could see the instant vibes that they had with our freshman class right now. So now Markus (Burton), Braeden (Shrewsberry), Logan (Imes), Carey Booth, these guys were together on their visits just in a huge pack walking around altogether. I think they all sense that we want to be the group that everybody thinks back to and says, 'We started this thing up again.' If you watch those clips, they'll do anything it takes to win. I mentioned how they've all won, but they'll do anything it takes to win. You think about Garrett Sundra, who's high school team has probably eight Division-I guys on it, so his numbers - same as his AAU team - might not jump through the roof. But he's not like going to Coach (Glenn) Farello or those coaches and asking 'How can I get more shots? How can I do more of this?' He's saying, 'How can I help us win?' I think you see the same thing with Sir and with Cole. These guys are just winners in their toughness and they want to do whatever it takes. When you have guys like that, it's just setting our culture up for who we want to be and how we want to operate.

Question on the importance of recruiting the state of Indiana

Shrewsberry:

“We'll recruit anywhere. We are here in Indiana and there's good players here, but there's good players everywhere. I want to find guys that have been coached also. If you look at that, I grew up here in Indiana and I know the high school basketball and the coaches are really good. North Carolina's really good. Sir Mohammed and some of the stuff that they're doing, his coaches at his high school, they're doing some of the same things that we're doing. He's being really coached at the high school level. Same with Cole, same with Garrett. These guys are going to come in at an advanced stage because they've been coached before they got here. So that's what I look for. Guys that play in competitive environments, guys that have been coached and guys that want to do whatever it takes to help Notre Dame be successful.”

Question on Mohammed’s passing ability and high basketball IQ

Shrewsberry:

“An ideal roster for me, we play four guards, four guards that can all do the same exact thing. They can handle the ball, they can pass the ball, they can shoot the ball. Sir's IQ in passing kind of sets him apart at such a young stage. He's a very mature person. He's a very mature basketball player at 18 years old. So, when teams try and do different things or try and come up with different game plans, he's one of those guys that's on the court that can see it ahead of time and can help everybody else get to their spots and understand that. So these guys really fit together. I'm all about versatility and skill and now we want to start adding skill with size. I think that's what we've added in this class. All three guys are really skilled, but they're bigger like Sir's 6-6. Cole's a lot bigger than people think. People don't think he's very big until you see him in person. He's 6-5, he's almost 6-6. He is a tall dude with long arms. Garrett's huge. He's 6-11 and every bit of it. Now you start to add that and that helps our defensive versatility when you have that size and length like that.”

Question on Sundra’s potential

Shrewsberry:

I think in a lot of areas. Obviously he'll get stronger. I'm not concerned with that, but as he gets stronger, he's going to be able to play a lot of different positions. His ability to run, his ability to move stands out. Those are things that I look for in recruiting. He can guard people around the basket. He can switch and guard people on the perimeter. He can run past big fellas on the perimeter. So there's a lot of areas that he's going to be able to grow. I think for him his ball-handling will always improve, right? He's pretty good at attacking closeouts and bigger guys and everything else. I think just giving them more responsibility and opening things up for him even more. It's hard for him. He doesn't get a lot of opportunities. He plays on a really good high school team and AAU team. He doesn't get opportunities to show off everything that he can do. So I think he always improves with strength, but I don't think he necessarily needs strength to be a good player. He's a good player right now as he is and he's only going to keep growing. I think he gets better in all areas as he gets more confident too.

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